Derelict building, which counted Richard Burton and Sir Anthony Hopkins among its customers, may be turned into community hub
The sad hulk of the Plaza in Port Talbot, an imposing listed but derelict cinema where local boys including Richard Burton, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Michael Sheen were regular filmgoers before going on to become Hollywood stars, could come back to life as a council-owned community hub – but not a cinema.
The Plaza was built in 1939. A local landmark, it was Grade II listed in 1999 for its striking art deco design and largely unaltered interior. It originally had more than 1,000 seats. Like many other giant auditoriums of the golden age of cinema, it was converted into a bingo hall in the 1980s, before being revived for a few years as a cinema, with prices as low as 50p to try to build audiences. However, the opening of a six-screen multiplex on the outskirts of the town spelled the end for the Plaza and it showed its last film, The Prince of Egypt, in January 1999.